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Listen to Audio (6:54)
"We're very happy that we ended up on this side of the scoreboard. Wake Forest still has some good things going on. I think Dino has done a really good job with this club. [James] Johnson, [Jeff] Teague, and [Chas] MacFarland are the three guys that didn't play for them last year, two freshmen and a sophomore. They were a load to handle for us. They broke down our defense quite a bit and we've been getting a lot better defensively but they broke us down a lot more than we wanted to, to say the least. [Our] work on the backboards and get some extra shots I think was important for us. I think every time we have a chance to throw the ball inside to Tyler we need to do that and get the ball inside more.
"Wayne's shooting from the 3-point line is good. Needless to say Danny and Alex did a good job coming off the bench and getting some minutes. I probably should have just held Deon out because he is trying in practice but he doesn't have the same energy level in the game that he had in practice yesterday so I don't know if I'll play him this Saturday or not because we've got to get healthy. No question about it. I've never been around where three or four of your top seven or eight guys are walking wounded or not playing at all and so we've got to get healthy.
"But Tyler and Wayne give us two guys who can really score and when you get contributions like that from Danny and Alex coming off the bench you have to feel good about that. Again, I go back to the rebounding was good for us. We were forcing because they missed from open shots in the second half for sure. They were six for thirteen at the half from the three-point line and the second half they were one for six, one for seven whatever it was."
On whether or not Danny Green is coming out of his slump:
"Oh I hope so, because earlier in the season I think he was much more consistent than he's been in the last 10 games. But when you get in league play, it's a lot tougher for everybody. I think one of the things when you're scouting Wake Forest and looking at their stats, they have some kids whose stats have gotten better when you get into conference play and that always shows me something about a young man's improvement and his toughness, too.
"Danny has struggled a little bit at times recently. At Clemson he was sensational and the other night at State he gets two lay-ups at the end or he would have had the goose egg. But today I thought he was a good force, in fact, the three that he made across from our bench in the second half sort of said that's the basketball game and we sort of meandered around after that."
On Wayne's 3-pointer right before halftime:
"Well it was but I never really get excited about those things. We've had at least two, maybe three teams, to make one at the end of the half against us this year and we've always been able to handle it. But we had turned it over three of our last four possessions dribbling the ball. I think we had it at eight or ten and made it and turned it into a six point game because of turnovers."
On Deon Thompson:
“I should have just held Deon out, because he’s trying in practice but he [didn’t] have that same energy level in the game that he had in practice yesterday. So I don’t know if I’ll play him this Saturday or not. We’ve got to get healthy – there’s no question about it.”
On Ty Lawson’s possible return on Saturday:
“I guess my hesitation is probably the best answer. I have no idea. I was sort of point towards today’s game, because I thought he might be able to come back for today’s game. But he saw the medical people yesterday before practice and the trainer came up and told me that he wasn’t going to be able to go. They have tomorrow off and Tuesday they’ll come in just to run and shoot, because I’m going recruiting, so they’ll come in without me being at practice – well, it’s not a practice, they just come in on their own and lift weights and run and shoot. Hopefully those 48 hours will be good for all of them, and hopefully it will be more for Ty. I have no idea, guys. I’m not trying to give you too much information on injuries and I’m not trying to hide anything, but I’m just telling you the Gospel truth.”
Listen to Audio (3:51)
On the team’s balance:
“We shot the ball well, but we didn’t take care of it the way we wanted to. We turned the ball over a lot. We had more turnovers than assists. But we were fortunate enough to hit some shots. That kept us ahead, and they started to miss some shots. But their guards did a great job penetrating and kicking the ball back out to their shooters. We didn’t play as good [defensively] as we wanted to.”
On the need to improve as a team:
“We were doing fine until tonight. We didn’t play our best basketball tonight. But we didn’t play bad. We just want to keep getting better, and so I think we have to get back to practice and starting working to play better defense. We’ve got to stay in front of the ball, because they were penetrating too easy.”
On the team’s turnover problems:
“A lot of our turnovers were silly turnovers – losing the ball off someone’s feet, or just not catching it with two hands, not paying attention. We had a couple of opportunities for easy baskets on fast breaks and we turned the ball over after a simple bounce pass, it would slip out of our hands or something like that.”
Listen to Audio (4:30)
On the team’s workmanlike performance:
“There’s nothing we can do. Some guys are hurt. So we’re going to have to step up. We can’t say some guys are hurt and give up. That’s why some guys are stepping up. I think Q is stepping up, also myself.”
On the team’s contributions from the bench:
“I think a lot of guys are gaining some experience, and all over it makes us tougher. I think some guys on the bench that might not have played as much, they’re doing good things for us.”
On the team’s consistency without Lawson:
“Coach always stresses, no matter who’s not playing, it’s still North Carolina, and we’re going to do the things that we do. I think it’s really carried over.”
On the team’s improving patience in the halfcourt:
“It’s forty minutes in a game, whether we’re up or down. You can’t win a game in a half or in the first four minutes of the second half. We have to grind it out on the defensive end and look for shots we want on the offensive end. I think the patience part is just coming with consistency, and the coaches emphasizing it.”
On his growing confidence:
“I’m definitely a lot more confident. I’m just trying to be that extension of the coach, trying to stay aggressive and assertive on the offensive end, and trying to keep my man in front of me on the defensive end. I think I’m doing a good job, or at least a better job.”
On the need for defensive improvement:
“We definitely need to improve and get a stop when we need a stop. We feel we can run well, but without getting stops and without getting turnovers, we can’t do that. But I think our defense is getting better over the last couple of weeks.”
On the team’s turnover problems:
“There’s really no way around it. We just didn’t take care of the ball. Whatever situation we’re in, we’ve got to take much better care of the ball.”
On winning big despite a rocky game:
“It definitely speaks about the talent. Considering all the things we didn’t do well tonight, and for us to come out with a win like that. But in late March, you’re not going to win on just talent. It’s one of those double-edged swords, you know.”
On the team’s comfort without Lawson:
“We’ve been in some situations now without Ty. We’re just getting through those, and winning some big-time games without Ty. It’s been good for the confidence of this team. But we’re still a good ways away from our potential. A game like this shows that we’ve got to get better on a consistent basis.”
On the prospect of the team adjusting when Lawson does return:
“I would probably say it will be a lot tougher for Ty to adjust to running up and down the court. Other than that, I don’t see it as a problem with this team or with Tywon adjusting to his return. I feel like things will continue to run the way they’re going. We’ll be a lot quicker and faster and have more opportunities as a team.”
On improving in the halfcourt:
“Yeah, we’re running a lot more halfcourt offensive sets, and we’re still getting out on the break—but you know Ty, he’s just a fast break unto himself. So with Q at the point, we don’t get as many opportunities for the fast break. So we slow it down and run a lot more sets.”
On adjusting when Lawson returns:
“I think we’re going to be just fine. We are getting comfortable with Q, and a lot more confident with him. But when Ty comes back, he’s got that transition, he knows how to come in and gel with us right away. We’re used to playing with him. So I don’t think it’s going to be hard.”
On rebounding and foul shooting:
“We understand it’s important to rebound well, and we know how much it helps to shoot free throws well. That’s something we emphasize. We always want to outrebound our opponents. And in big games, it’s really important to make free throws.”
On the importance of rebounding and foul shooting:
“You know, you can’t stress that enough. That’s what the game came down to, we got the most rebounds. And fouls were a big issue today, and we made our foul shots. But you can’t stress the little things enough. I try to go out there and get as many rebounds as I can, be there on defense, just do what I can for everybody.”
How good does it feel to get one of those follow dunks?
“It felt pretty good. I was trying to repeat what happened the last game. It always feels good to get the crowd going, and it just gets you in the game a little more.”